Vietnam urged to take strong measures against human-trafficking
  • | | December 03, 2010 04:11 PM

The fight against human-trafficking in Vietnam needs more support as more cases on more serious levels are being reported.

Children living in remote areas are the main victims of human-trafficking. Photo by TTVH

Vietnam is aspiring to carry out comprehensive measures to fight human-trafficking as the issue was discussed December 2 at an international seminar titled “Anti-Human Trafficking in the Globe, Asean, and Vietnam” held in Hanoi.

Vietnam being a hub for human-trafficking crime

According to a recent report, Vietnam has seen 1,949 cases of human trafficking which involved 3,543 offenders and 4,793 victims since implementing the Anti-Human Trafficking Programme in 2004.

Colonel Le Van Chuong, from the Ministry of Public Security, said that Vietnam has been known as a hub for illegal migration and transnational organised crime which are now becoming a burning issue for local authorities.

For example, in the remote mountainous Ha Giang Province, kidnappers have been taking advantage of the terrain to coordinate with Chinese accomplices to kidnap local children. 63 such cases have been reported since 2007, causing 7 deaths, 3 injuries and 86 children being kidnapped.

Trafficking newborns is also increasing in many areas including Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Lang Son, Soc Trang, Quang Nam, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Criminals often coordinate with local people to find poverty-stricken couples or young girls with unexpected pregnancies and persuade these parents to sell their newborns. One of those groups that was arrested included Nguyen Van Hien, Pham Van Thinh and 10 other accessories in Hanoi. With the above mentioned methods, they had collected and sold 40 newborns to China at a price of VND 10-30 million (USD500-1,500) each in just a short time (from July 2007 to February 2008).

Meanwhile, other offenders are taking advantage of the adoption policies to cooperate with local orphanages to collect children from orphanages and sell abroad.

They are also using hi-tech tools such as telephone and internet to organize trans-national sex tours or establishing international networks for trading prostitutes.

Not only women and children, many male victims in Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Cao Bang, Lang Son Provinces are also being treated and sold to owners of brick kilns or ore mines in China where they are exploited labourers.

Urgent and comprehensive measures needed

Colonel Chuong revealed a recent survey carried out by the Ministry of Public Security. It said 4,000 offenders belonging to 250 trafficking networks are operating in 182 locations in Vietnam.

Chuong says that more and more criminals are taking advantage of the global integration and hi-tech development to organise illegal migration and trans-national trafficking networks. Meanwhile, the authorities are still lacking proper laws and regulations to tackle them. “More people are becoming victims of human trafficking through labour exporting, child adopting, traveling, or getting married with foreign people.”

To address the issue, Colonel Dang Xuan Khang, Chief of the Vietnam Interpol Office suggests relevant authorities study the situation and advise the government to legislate against human trafficking. Colonel Khang also says that Vietnam should negotiate and cooperate with neighboring countries as well as international organisations and police including Interpol and ASEANAPOL and that the government needs to provide more funds to facilitate equipment and technologies to fight the crime.

Sharing ideas at the seminar, Charles E, Tucker, managing director of the Institute for International Human Rights Research at Depaul University, USA, said that many Vietnamese people are uninformed of the issues surrounding human trafficking.

“Vietnam needs to carry out comprehensive measures to fight this crime,” he said. “Laws and policies should be reformed, supporting services for restoring human dignity should also be introduced. And more importantly, Vietnam should launch campaigns on human-trafficking at schools to increase awareness of children, who are most likely to be exploited as victims so that they can be better protected.”

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